The Orange and Black Angle
A few weeks back I wrote and posted a piece called “Free SixPack, Anyone?” which briefly detailed a plan to launch a publishing effort on cyberspace, because I had more than a hundred “short stories.” It was a start, I figured. Part of the process required that I seek feedback and I put out an appeal for friends to read six of my pieces and tell me what they thought.
Almost universally, everyone said the stories were too short. I needed to fill in more details, possibly give more background, and flesh out some personalities, all of which would be a mere formality. I would get a lot of enjoyment out of that process, because the hard work of providing a situation, with a conflict, is already done. But it requires time, and time is at a premium right now. Sure it would be easy to do one or two, and then keep on plugging away, but it would be far easier to sit down and do a bunch in a short period of time. And I can’t do that now.
I spend most of my time gainfully employed, albeit I get to decide how much time I work and what those hours are. It’s all rather delicious to be able to call a few shots like that in my old age. The fact that my employment requires that I sit, means that I can curb a little of that wear and tear on my body that carpentry creates, provided that I walk each day the way I have for so many years.
So I tabled the SIxPack plan and continued to write the occasional piece, working and biding my time. A week ago, my third son asked me if I had seen the post on FaceBook from Around the Horn, looking for writers to submit articles about the Giants. Around the Horn, like Nation Orange, is a cyber publication about everything Giants. I like it because it links the reader immediately to other sites with both breaking news and ongoing analysis of Spring Training.
I applied for the slot and submitted past pieces of writing, and got the non-paying “job.” When I got that piece of information, I also received a set of instructions that would prepare me to post my work online. When I went to check this most recent component out, I found the tech elements to be beyond my ken. I informed Danny of this fact. Danny was the first link between me and fansided, the name of the outfit which coordinates all of the 252 different sports cyber-space publications. Fansided covers all sports, in all cities, from all angles. My angle is colored orange and black.
My first [and only] thought concerning the tech stuff, was to contact Jackie, the tech guru who has been guiding me in the cyber-space effort from the start last December. But I knew the earliest I could hook up with Jackie was a couple of weeks down the line. So that would not help at the moment.
Danny passed my name and application onto one of the editors at Around the Foghorn, a woman named Melissa, who welcomed me and gave me some pertinent background. When I repeated to her the part about my tech shortcomings, she pushed my misgivings aside, and said not to worry about it for the moment: She would handle the tech. And she did.
Less than an hour after I attached my inaugural piece off to Melissa, it was up and running, and she had sent me an email to that effect. I was so dazzled! I was further amazed the following morning to be scrolling down FaceBook, when I saw a post from Nation Orange, touting an article that “was bound to get you excited about Spring Training.” When I went to Nation Orange, there was my article. It had been linked from Around the Horn to Nation Orange. And I did not have anything to do with it. I was very stoked.
It had all happened so quickly that I was having a hard time taking it all in. Of all the ways to get a foot in the door of the publishing world, writing about the Giants would have been the last on my list. That’s not because I don’t like it-I am passionate about it. It’s not that I don’t know the subject-I absorb Giants’ information the way Brandon Crawford’s glove absorbs batted balls. It’s not that I am horrible at it-I’m good at it. Not profound, but entertaining, at least. The crux of the matter is that I have always simply believed there were so many men and women who are already doing this, or waiting in line, that I would never stand a chance.
And it wouldn’t have occurred to me to try, if it weren’t for that post on FaceBook, that Lito pointed my way. It’s no big deal, you know. Ferris Wheel and all that stuff. But it’s fun and it’s lightweight, and I enjoy doing it. So we’ll see where this will go. From short-short stories, to Giant(s) stories, it’s all good with me. I just like to write.